11 Things to Bring to A Festival Camp (Checklist)

Your tickets are booked, your bags are packed, but do you have all the gear you need for camping at your upcoming festival?

Going to a festival is an exciting and memorable event. In between all the shows, music, and laughter, however, you need to make sure you have the right equipment on hand to have a comfortable place to sleep and relax at night.

Thankfully, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll walk you through our ultimate festival camping checklist, complete with everything you ought to pack for your next music festival. 

That way you can sit back, relax, and let the good times roll during a concert without having to worry about whether you have everything you need back at camp.

1. Tent

colorful tents on a festival camp

No festival camping trip is complete without a quality tent in tow. As your home away from home while you’re at the event, it’s essential that you have a cozy place to lay your head at night.

The type of tent you choose, however, will greatly depend on your preferred camping style. While some folks like the convenience of an instant popup tent or an inflatable tent, others prefer to get a glamping tent, instead. Alternatively, if affordability is a concern, a budget tent might be more suitable

The key is to find a tent that you’re comfortable setting up on your own or with a friend in just a few minutes. Since you’ll want to get in on the activities soon after arriving at the festival, having a shelter that you can pitch relatively quickly is important.

2. Camp tarp

While most folks plan to bring a tent to festivals, few realize the importance of having a camp tarp on hand, too.

Since most festivals take place in very hot and arid locales, like Coachella near Joshua Tree National Park, being able to find shade is important. Plus, as you’ll often need to pitch your campsite in a field without any trees nearby, you’ll need a way to create your own shade.

Luckily, there’s a solution to your needs: a camp tarp.

With the right camp tarp in tow, you can quickly set up a comfortable and shaded place to relax during the midday heat. Alternatively, if rain threatens to derail your festival, having a tarp will ensure that you still have a dry place to hang out during a storm.

Just be sure to practice pitching your tarp before the festival to ensure everything is as seamless as possible when you arrive.

3. Water bottles

green camping water bottle

If there’s one thing that tends to plague festival-goers, it’s dehydration. Hanging out, dancing, and partying with your friends in the heat tends to take a toll on your body, especially if you’re not keeping up with your hydration throughout the day.

To combat this perpetual woe, you’ll want to pack an assortment of water bottles for your festival. As a general rule, we’d recommend packing at least two or three water bottles on each festival trip.

That way, you can leave one in camp and always have the other on hand while you wander around. Having a third water bottle also helps ensure that you have a spare, just in case one gets lost or damaged.

Read More : How Much Water Should You Bring to Camping?

4. String lights

After the sun goes down on your day of partying, there’s no better way to make a cozy camp atmosphere than with a set of string lights.

While you should also have a flashlight or headlamp on hand to help you get to and from the toilets or for illumination while you wander around, string lights are the ideal way to light up your campsite at night.

They’re small, portable, and easy to set up, so they’re a nice choice for illumination during your festival adventures.

5. Hiking backpacks

red hiking backpack

Whenever you leave your campsite during a festival, you’ll want to have certain pieces of gear on hand at all times. Things like water bottles, rain jackets, snacks, and the like, should always be easily accessible while you’re at a festival.

So, to transport all of these items, you’ll need a trusty hiking backpack. In fact, a quality hiking backpack will help ensure that you have all the gear you need as you wander around to different concerts and events.

Therefore, a small pack ought to be on your gear list as you plan for your next festival.

Read More : How to Pack Light for Your Next Camping Trip

6. Camping chairs

man sitting on a camping chair at a festival

If you want to turn your campsite into the ultimate hangout and chill zone during the festival, you’ll need a set of camping chairs.

Of course, you could just sit on the ground. But, having an assortment of camping chairs on hand can help ensure your comfort at the end of a long day of partying.

If you can, bringing one camp chair for each person in your group, plus an extra or two is ideal. That way, you can ensure that everyone in your group has a comfy place to sit and that you have seating options for any new friends you make during the festival.

7. Coffee makers

outdoor coffee maker

If you’re anything like us, you know how important coffee is in the morning, especially after a night of partying with your friends at a festival.

The solution? A dedicated camp coffee maker or percolator.

By packing a coffee maker for your next festival, you can ensure that you have a fresh cup o’ joe each morning. Just don’t forget to pack mugs, too!

8. Grills

barbecue grill at a music festival

There’s nothing better than a tasty barbecue when you’re at a festival with your friends. So, packing your trusty grill is important if you want to cook up some gourmet grub each evening.

Before you go out and buy a grill, however, check the rules and regulations at the festival. Some festivals don’t allow fires, in which case, you’ll want a gas-powered grill, instead.

9. Coolers

beer bottles chilling on blue cooler

Unless you particularly enjoy drinking warm beverages and eating partially spoiled food during a festival, having a quality cooler or two is important.

In fact, we generally recommend bringing 2 coolers if you can. That way, you can have separate coolers for drinks and food.

Why would you want to separate your food and drink at a festival, you might ask?

Well, you’ll probably find that you reach into your cooler to get a cold beverage fairly regularly throughout the day. However, you probably only need to get food out of your cooler every four or five hours.

So, separating your food and drink coolers helps ensure that your food cooler stays as cold as possible. That way, your food is less likely to spoil in the heat.

10. Portable battery packs

portable solar panel charging a phone

Although many festivals offer charging stations so you can power your devices, using these isn’t exactly convenient. Since most are in fixed locations, you’ll need to wait around for a few hours as your phone charges, which will greatly hinder your partying ability.

Therefore, bringing a set of portable battery packs is a must if you want to juice up your devices on the go. Bringing a spare battery pack, or even a solar panel for charging up your battery packs, is also a solid idea.

11. First aid kits

first aid kit sitting next to a hiking backpack

Last but not least, it’s important to take safety seriously while at a festival.

Of course, most festivals will have a dedicated first aid tent and medics on standby to help you if you’re sick or injured. But, being able to take care of minor cuts, scrapes, and illnesses on your own will mean that you can quickly get back in on the action.

So, it’s important to always bring a small first aid kit with you to any festival.

In an ideal world, every person in your group should have a small first aid kit in their backpack that they carry with them at all times. It’s also nice to have a slightly more comprehensive first aid kit in your tent for medical needs that arise in camp.

That way, you will always have quick access to emergency supplies to handle smaller medical issues on your own or to manage bigger emergencies until the festival’s first aid team arrives.

Gaby Pilson

Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.